NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 24 – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a €50 million (Sh5.3 billion) package of investments in a new integrated approach to enable young innovative entrepreneurs across Africa.
The Boost Africa Investment Program seeks to invest in truly innovative businesses, mostly operated by youth (18-35 years) and is unique in terms of the overall business model, products, services, delivery mechanisms and technology applied.
The initiative is one of the first instruments in the Bank’s recently approved Jobs for Youth Strategy, which responds to the renaissance of such entrepreneurial driven and home-grown business models.
The programme targets various sectors such as energy, telecom, agribusiness, industry, and privately delivered social services, health and education, that have the potential to grow and contribute significantly to inclusive growth and job creation.
“The Boost Africa Initiative thus aims to spur the entrepreneurial power of the African youth to create innovative and compelling businesses with the capacity to compete regionally and globally, to attract domestic and foreign direct investments, to create new and quality jobs, and contribute to economic growth,” said Stefan Nalletamby, Director of the Financial Sector Development Department at the AfDB.
“Innovative start-ups need not only financing, but also capacity-building support and adequate networks and business connections,” said Nalletamby, “Which will be offered through the broader Boost Africa Initiative which also has a Technical Assistance and a Lab component.”
Boost Africa is expected to be a partnership with various investors and donors.
The contributions by the AfDB and others will leverage further investments into this sector, up to a total amount of €1 billion.
The Boost Africa Initiative forms part of the AfDB’s High 5 priorities, in particular “Improving the quality of life for the people of Africa” and the related Jobs for Youth in Africa Initiative.